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Managing a Research Project

Dorota Gołuch
d.goluch.09@ucl.ac.uk
Outline

1. Project development
2. Data management
3. Writing up
4. Career planning
Action points

Next week I am going to …


1. …
2. …

In July I am going to …
1. …
2. …
1.Project development: MANAGABLE SCOPE

See Olohan & Baker 2009, sections 3-4

 Initial interests
(materials, problems, approaches, etc.)

 Your question and contribution


Example: my interests & choice of focus
Postcolonial literature
Translation
Poland

Which Anglophone postcolonial texts have been


translated into Polish? Trends pre- & post-1989?
What strategies were used and were postcolonial
authors’ interventions into Eng signalled in Polish?
What ethical issues do translators of postcolonial lit.
face? Are any strategies more ethical than others?
Is prescriptivism needed in postcolonial translation?
Example: my interests & choice of focus
Postcolonial literature
Translation
Poland

Focus on specific material and context

Focus on theoretical/ methodological models


Example: my interest & initial question

Postcolonial literature
Translation
Poland & Polish perceptions of postcolonial peoples

Did Polish translations of Anglophone postcolonial


lit. preserve its characteristic features and thus
enable progress towards less Eurocentric
perceptions of postcolonial peoples in Poland?
Example: my interests & change of question

Postcolonial literature
Polish reviews of (translated) postcolonial lit.
Polish perceptions of postcolonial peoples

What perceptions of postcolonial peoples emerge


from the discourses used in Polish reviews of
(translated) postcolonial prose (1970–2010)?
- How do they link with Polish self-perceptions?
- Do Poles see themselves as ‘postcolonial’?
- What is the role of translation acc. to reviewers?
1.Project development – scope – exercises
EARLIER STAGES OF THE PROJECT
1. Write down the main areas of interest informing
your project (3–5 keywords);
2. Specify whether you focus on theory or material;
3. Choose one or two of the keywords and write a
research question that foregrounds these areas;
4. Choose other keywords & try another question.
ADVANCED STAGES
1. Write your question & add 3-4 sub-questions;
2. Try out a few versions of a title, featuring
different sub-questions.
1.Project development: ITERATION

1.proposal

2.pilot study

3.more analysis

4.all analysis

ANALYSIS=WRITING? ANALYSIS >DESCRIPTION


1.Project development – ITERATION – exercise
Work in pairs. Ask each other these questions:
EARLIER STAGES OF THE PROJECT
1. What will your pilot study be (conference talks,
upgrade chapter)? What material will you choose?
2. How will you ensure that you regularly review your
proposal? If your course does not cater for it, how
are you going to plan it yourself?
ADVANCED STAGES
1. Has your writing so far been more analytical or
descriptive? How is it influencing your progress?
2. How have you been reviewing your proposal?
1.Project development: CONTRIBUTION & FIELD
‘. . . And what does it contribute to the field?’

Which field(s) are you contributing to?

Who are you quoting,


what terms are you employing,
what writing style do you use?

How does it impact on your


reading and text structure?
CONTRIBUTION & FIELD – my example

Postcolonial studies
Translation studies
Polish studies (Poland’s postcoloniality)

Comparative literature
Reception studies

Knowledge and literature


Modernity
1. Project – reading – exercise
Match types of problematic on the left with
types of reading and sources on the right.
1. Narrow (sub-)field, vital to a. Quote an encyclopaedia
the topic (eg Britannica)
2. Term from another field b. Read as much as you can &
mentioned in a sub-section read critically
3. Multi-faceted concept used c. (Re-)read ‘classic’ texts;
in a chapter heading summarize cogently
4. Historical event mentioned d. Consult an authoritative
in an anecdote source (eg reference work)
5. Broad field generally e. Compare a few major sources
relevant to the topic & explain your usage
Project – reading – exercise
Match types of problematic on the left with
types of reading and sources on the right.
1. Narrow (sub-)field, vital to a. Quote an encyclopaedia
the topic (eg Britannica)
2. Term from another field b. Read as much as you can &
mentioned in sub-section read critically
3. Multi-faceted concept used c. (Re-)read ‘classic’ texts;
in chapter heading summarize cogently
4. Historical event mentioned d. Consult an authoritative
in an anecdote source (eg reference work)
5. Broad field generally e. Compare a few major sources
relevant to the topic & explain your usage
1.Project – CONTRIBUTION & FIELD – exercise

At home, write down names of the fields and sub-


fields where you want to contribute and belong.

Where is your main contribution and how do you


relate to the remaining field(s)?

What implications does it have for


your reading and writing (structure)?
2. Data management
 Selection (see ex. in Olohan & Baker)

 Gathering (research training, equipment, travelling,


ethical clearance, budgeting, contingencies, etc)

 Storage and ordering (folders, Excel, Atlas –


qualitative analysis software, etc)

 BACK UP!
2. Data management – exercise
1. Work in groups of four. Write down as many
different ways of BACKING UP your data as you
can. You have one minute for it.

2. Individually, ask yourself:


Do I back up my data efficiently & often enough?
Are there any action points to be noted down?

https://www.dropbox.com/
3. Writing Up
- Think before you speak!
- But how can I know what I think unless I try to say it?

 Start writing early


 Analysis, argument > description

Why am I writing this? What is it doing for my argu-


ment? How does it link to earlier & later paragraphs?
3. Writing Up – Structure – Paragraph

Love your paragraph!


To stay sane – topic sentence

http://www.studyzone.org/testprep/ela4/g/topicmainl.cfm

Home exercise:
Read a piece you’ve written and see if it
has topic sentences in most paragraphs.
If not, try adding them. Does the piece read better?
3. Writing Up – Structure – ToC
Title
Abstract
ToC
List of illustrations
Introduction
‘Theoretical’/ ‘historical’ & ‘method’ chapters
Core chapters clusters
Conclusion
Appendices
3. Writing Up – structure – exercise

Think of different ways of dividing your core chapters.


For example: by periods, authors/ translators/ texts,
methods, problems/ concepts, etc.

What advantages & drawbacks do the divisions have?


3. Writing Up – Challenges

Guess what words it is: d_ _ _ _


OED Online: 5. A preliminary sketch or rough form of
a writing or document, from which the final or fair
copy is made.
3. Writing Up – Challenges

Guess what words it is: d r a f t


OED Online: 5. A preliminary sketch or rough form of
a writing or document, from which the final or fair
copy is made.

 Quiet spot for 2-3 hours


 Early bird or night owl?
 No internet !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 Take breaks & reward yourself
1. Project development
2. Data management
3. Writing up
4. Career planning

THANK YOU